The Minnesota Vikings are ending the 2020 season without a playoff berth. This has ended a turbulent season for the Vikings. Rookies have shined and recognizable names have impressed, however, the room for improvement was evident. New players need to come in, which means the Minnesota Vikings need to move on from some veterans this offseason.
Minnesota Vikings Should Have a Roster Reshuffle in the Offseason
The Vikings’ offensive line has been a weak point all season. Both tackles and center positions seem taken for the future, but the interior of the offensive line has struggled. Dakota Dozier has been the weakest point of this line. Dozier leads the team in pressures at 44 and sacks allowed at six. Additionally, Dozier has hindered the team’s offense with penalties and leads the team with eight. Dozier has flashed as a run blocker but his struggles in pass protection are too great to overlook. Dozier signed a one-year deal in the past offseason and the Minnesota Vikings should let the veteran guard hit free agency.
Shamar Stephen and Jaleel Johnson
Another underwhelming aspect to Minnesota’s 2020 season has been the defensive line. The defensive line has struggled in rushing the passer whilst also having problems preventing the run. Therefore, both interior defensive linemen could be on the chopping block for Minnesota in the offseason. First, Shamar Stephen would have to be cut for Minnesota to move on from the defensive tackle. However, Stephen would provide a cap hit for the Vikings. Though, Michael Pierce’s return could spell the end for Stephen. A rough season for Stephen has left the former seventh-round pick with a singular sack on the season and Minnesota may part ways in 2021 to free up cap room.
Jaleel Johnson is the other defensive tackle which the Vikings could move on from when the season ends. Johnson has two sacks this season but has a pff grade of 36 which highlights the poor season Johnson is having. Unlike Stephen, Johnson is a free agent in 2021 and could be allowed to leave after a disappointing 2020 season.
Anthony Harris hasn’t been able to recreate his 2019 season form in 2020. Last year, Harris had a league-leading six interceptions and had created a successful partnership with Harrison Smith. Yet, in 2020 Harris has been unable to have the productivity seen in 2019. Harris’ overall play has slightly regressed this year and he hasn’t had an interception. The Vikings may not have the cap space to sign Harris back on a big deal and his production may not be deemed worthy of another franchise tag for the Vikings.
Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph hasn’t had a poor 2020. Rudolph has shown he is still a weapon in the passing game even though his red-zone production has dropped off. Unfortunately, both Tyler Conklin and Irv Smith Jr have proven they can carry the mantle whilst Rudolph has been out injured. Rudolph is tied down to the Vikings through the 2023 season so the Vikings may stick with Rudolph or trade him away. Although, Rudolph doesn’t have to be moved on in the off-season but the future looks bright without the ten-year veteran.
The Minnesota Vikings have a promising future but still have areas of need. A few roster adjustments could lead the franchise to a better future and it begins in the 2020 off-season.
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